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The impact of COVID-19 led to "devastating" reversals of global gains in education, poverty eradication, vaccinations, and maternal and child health, according to the findings from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's annual Goalkeepers report, which were shared exclusively with "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: The coronavirus is proving to be more than just a health crisis, thrusting millions into poverty.

"Basically, eight months of COVID reversed gains in almost every category that had been made steadily over the last couple of decades," Melinda Gates told me in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

  • Over the last year, 37 million people fell below the $1.90 a day poverty level. "It's the difference between being able to put food on your table or not put food on your table and go hungry," Gates said.
  • With regards to existing vaccinations, the coronavirus has erased all the progress the world has made in the last two and a half decades. "What we know is that 25 years of increased vaccinations that have saved children's lives all over the world was set back in 25 weeks."

Yes, but: There was one area where the world did see progress. The number of people with bank accounts expanded as the pandemic forced governments around the world to find ways to get stimulus money to their populations.

  • Gates said that gain should prove lasting and the importance of getting more money to women is particularly important.
  • "When the cash transfer payment goes into the hands of a woman, it's far more effective," Gates said. "She spends it on the health of her family. She spends it on food."

Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull — CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer — Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines.
  2. Vaccines: Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — America's vaccination drive runs out of gas.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  5. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  6. Variant tracker
Dec 23, 2020 - Health

Over 1 million people in U.S. have received the COVID-19 vaccine

Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

More than 1 million people in the U.S. have received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The U.S. began its largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history last week as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths surged nationwide.

Dec 23, 2020 - World

New York City will enforce quarantine for U.K. travelers with visits from sheriff's deputies

Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

All U.K. travelers going to New York City will now be required to quarantine or face a daily $1,000 fine, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Although all people are required to quarantine when traveling into the city, U.K travelers specifically will receive visits from sheriff’s deputies to ensure they are following the two-week quarantine order.

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